Short answer: Doubtful.
Disclaimer: I am a long-time volunteer and user of Find-A-Grave, but I’m all about new technology to aid in genealogical research.
As I was browsing through my Google Reader this morning, I ran across A.C. Ivory’s Mobile Monday post about BillionGraves.com. I was intrigued! He gave a very thorough analysis of the iPhone app, and touched a bit on the website. You can also see related posts from Taneya at Taneya’s Genealogy Blog, who brought up all kinds of changes/improvements that she would like to see, and Phillip at Blood and Frogs, who talked about (among other things) the unnecessary duplication of efforts since we already have a gajillion graves on Find-A-Grave. I thought I would supplement with one of my own, focusing on the website – since there is only an iPhone app, and I don’t have an iPhone.
Either GPS is faulty, or the cemetery is REALLY full.
Now … to the website. On first visit, you are asked to register. So I did. Here’s the home page, or “dashboard”:
At BillionGraves.com, everyone can participate and contribute to this monumental project. No matter your circumstances, you can drive the project forward. If you have an iPhone, download the BillionGraves Camera app from the iTunes store, go to your local cemeteries, and collect headstone photos with the app.
If you don’t have an iPhone, we still need your help! The images are almost useless—they’re too hard to search, too difficult to access—unless they’re transcribed. Instead of helping us collect photos, you can look at the photos and type in the names and dates recorded on the headstones.
|Notice – no “return to results” button|
I’m guessing most of the photos left to transcribe are the result of the inability to post more than one photo per person, because there are some that are obviously additional photos (backsides of headstones, different angles, etc.). I certainly hope they remedy that issue soon (and have some sort of admin periodically checking the photos that are added).It’s just sad that there is no way to add any information other than name, birth date, and death date. There’s not a place for an actual transcription of the headstone. You can’t even link parents and children or spouses.
One thing that did make my eyes bug out just a little was when Phillip mentioned in his post that as of June 1, the app will actually COST people to download. $1.99 each! So … not only do we want you to volunteer, but we’re going to charge you to do it!? Sounds like a great plan. (I know it’s not a huge amount of money, but it’s the principle).
Incidentally, as I was typing this blog post, I received an email from BillionGraves asking me to reset my password.
Now I don’t know if I’m being hacked or if this is a genuine request to reset my password. I know I didn’t ask for my password to be reset. If anyone else has gotten this email, please let me know if it’s safe to do. In the meantime, I’ll just leave it in my inbox.
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